Alyssa turned her head toward Gillian as her laughter met her ears. The horse surged forward and Lightshield was impressed at how easily her CO reigned the horse back into control. Catching up she listened silently to the words next spoken by her Grandmaster, softly replying, "What does he want of our outfit?" Her voice was steady and formal. She cursed herself under her breath before returning her full attention back to Gillian, "We only have so many soldiers, and I assume he knows that. He cannot be expected us to do much damage even with our extensive training."
Gillian's smile fled, chased away by a grim expression. She pressed her lips tightly together. "Honestly, I'm not sure. There haven't been any official orders yet, I've just been informed that I should prepare for long-range transport for members of our order, with a likely destination being Teradia."
She shrugged, obviously unsure. "Frankly, Teradia is a big mystery right now. Maybe we'll be called upon to assault and take it, maybe to provide escort to the Emperor, though I can't imagine why he'd want our order there."
Now her voice grew distant, sad. Her eyes locked on some faraway point, as though trying to ignore what she said next. "The traitorous Order of the Blade, and all that. We're not exactly in high regard at court right now."
Alyssa snapped to attention at the Grandmaster's words. Traitorous? What had she done? No orders the Knight-Commander had been given had been wrong in any manner. What had defined the Order in such a way? Alyssa regained her composure quickly, the pause lasting only a few seconds, "Why's that?" She was relieved to hear there was no tension in her voice, but she did drop back a bit more from Ashfire's side, looking Gillian up and down.
Gillian stared in mild disbelief at Alyssa. She found it hard to believe the Knight-Commander didn't know about the Order's all-to-recent sordid history.
She chuckled, the sound almost entirely without humor. "Ah, I can see by your expression that you don't know. How interesting." she said with a pained smile.
"Did you know..." she began slowly, voice growing distant again. "That the Order of the Blade has almost always had a Grand Master with the last name of Arvestus? We started the Order, after all. A distant and old relative of mine began the Order. And to our pride, the last...I suppose the last four Grandmasters of the Order have carried the Arvestus name with pride."
Her smile turned brittle. "Until my parents, that is. They disagreed with the Emperor, and rather than resigning their posts or some other, civil, response. They began leaking information to the Korin. The Emperor found out."
Now her face was devoid of all emotion, her voice cool and hard. "And he had them executed. Much of the Order along with them, too."
Last Edit: Mar 6, 2011 20:01:37 GMT -5 by Steinerman
A silent sort of shock filled Alyssa's throat and she nodded to herself as Gillian spoke, taking in each word with a stern gaze between the ears of her mount. His steady gait was soothing to her frustrated heart, and especially now as her...friend? Was that the word? As her friend spoke to her of horrors past she was able to quiet her anger at the cruelties of the world and focus on being simply present.
"I suppose that places you in a rather stressful position." Her words were even and cool over her tumbling stomach. She could feel the turmoil of her mind registering with her body, and she could tell that her horse had begun to take notice too. She stroked his shoulder and soothed him as she spoke again, "Perhaps that is why you are concerned about this man? You fear losing stability?"
A short, hard chuckled escaped Gillian's lips as she nodded in response to Alyssa's words. "Stability?" She questioned thoughtfully, thinking back to the times when she was with Jozin. They were happy, peaceful times. He made her...forget the stresses of life? No, that wasn't the right way to describe it, she decided. His presence was calming, reassuring. He made her feel like she wasn't alone in the world. There were few people who could make her feel that way.
She nodded more vigorously, "yes, I suppose I am afraid of losing the stability he provides." She replied, her voice suddenly warm with the thoughts of Jozin.
"And now he hasn't written or contacted me. It's out of character for him. And I suppose when combined with the regular stresses of this position, it's got me worried sick over his absence.